Prayer is communication with God. That is what David is teaching us in Psalm 5. There are times when you talk with God about your requests and what you need. But there are other times when God is communicating to you - even in what you pray. That is what is happening in this second part of David’s song about prayer and seeking God. David walks through a process of reminiscing about God. He reminds himself Who God is as He is seeking Him. What a good reminder this is to all of us as we come into the presence of God. We need to be reminded of Who God is - so that prayer does not become a one-way street where we don’t quite remember who exactly we are talking to as we pray. Another term for this is process is reverence. We need to revere God - honoring Him - respecting Him - even fearing Him as we approach Him to pray. David speaks of 7 different things he knows about God. His reminder of God’s character could be described as praise to God.
God Takes No Pleasure in Wickedness
David is basically reminded that God is holy. He does not take pleasure in wickedness. The word David uses for wickedness basically means someone who is lawless and a criminal. Those who disobey God and His word - who fight against His will being established in the world are lawless criminals - and God takes no pleasure in their behavior. There is a thought that may shock us a little. Disobedience to God is not just a crime against Sunday School lessons - it is a crime against the God of the universe Who should be obeyed.
No Evil Dwells with God
Evil is the word “ra” which is the basic word for evil in Hebrew. Thus we see the lawless criminal is evil in God’s sight. Evil is a word we don’t use that much any longer - because to many it is offensive. You can ask someone if they have sinned or are a sinner, and many will agree with you that they are a sinner or have sinned. But ask someone if they are evil - and they will take exception with being described by that Word. Yet to set ourselves in a contrary way than God’s way IS evil. And God said that evil will not receive any kind of hospitality from Him. that is what the word “dwells” means here. It speaks of hospitality - one who is received graciously and who is treated well as they stay with another. God will show NO hospitality or gracious treatment towards evil.
Boastful, Foolish People will not Stand Before God
David is praying in the midst of the situation with Absalom, who was a foolish, self-centered, proud, boastful man. Here was a conceited, handsome man who had charm and charisma - but who thought that by these he could claim the throne. He was a foolish young man and thought far too highly of himself. Such a self-boaster would be odious in God’s eyes. God hates pride. If we come to Him in prayer with a boastful, self-serving attitude, we can know that we won’t stand in His presence either.
God Hates Those Who do Iniquity
Not many people realize that God said that He hates things - but He does. The short of it is that God hates sin. The word iniquity speaks of those who chase after empty, meaningless, vain things. God hates it when mankind spends their lives chasing after emptiness and meaninglessness. God calls us to a meaningful life lived for His glory and honor. It might help us to remind ourselves as we seek God’s face - that He has a purpose for our lives - and that His purpose is NOT that we spend our days running after meaninglessness and frivolity.
God Isn’t Too Keen on Falsehood
Two things are said about those speaking and living in deceit. First off God will destroy them. The word David uses is “abad” which can mean a literal destruction or that God takes what someone does and reduces it to disorder and futility. The second thing God says is that he abhors the man who gives himself to bloodshed and deceit. The word abhor is “ta’ab” and it means to find something utterly abhorrent, detestable, or an abomination. Once again - God is speaking in terms we may think are objectionable for Him to use - and yet He feels that strongly about sin - violence (i.e. bloodshed) and deceit. At this point we might be thinking to ourselves that it is going to be impossible to come into the presence of God to pray. Apart from Jesus Christ - it actually is. The things David describes makes this fairly clear to us. We could become despondent about this whole matter of prayer if it were not for how David finishes this section.
Grace and Reverence
David’s final statement before he turns to requests is one that should bring a flood of relief to those of us who are sinners and who do evil (which is all of us). There is a way to come before God and be welcome and accepted. It is by the lovingkindness of God. That word “lovingkindness” is precious to us because it means “covenant love.” It is the closest word in the Old Testament to the New Testament word “grace.” It is worth noting that David says it is by “abundant lovingkindness” that he enters God’s house. This is something we MUST remember as we come to pray. The primer on prayer tells us that God is holy. God hates and abhors sin. God despises the very things of which we are guilty - and even promises destruction to those who do them. Therefore we can NEVER step into His presence based on our own works or our own supposed goodness. We would be consumed much like Nadab and Abihu if we come before Him in any way that does not plead for His grace on our behalf. Jesus made the way for us - and it is only and always through Him we will find our entrance to the place of prayer. But, when we come in the name of Jesus, knowing it is His blood that speaks for our sin - and His righteousness that makes us acceptable to God - we are WELCOME! We CAN come into the presence of the Lord - we CAN pray - we CAN know He will receive us graciously. What a glorious reminder! I’ve heard people say we should preach the gospel to ourselves daily. Often I do that as I come into the presence of God to pray. I do it because I feel like I might not be accepted - I might not be welcome - my sins may be too horrible for God to see me that day - or to want to even talk to me. But the truth is that by God’s abundant grace I can enter and I can pray.